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Subsidy scheme accepts applications

The Food Courts Subsidy Scheme was launched today and opened for applications to provide financial support to operators of eligible licensed food factories in operation, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department announced.   Launched under the fourth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund, the scheme will provide a one-off subsidy ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 to licence holders of food factories according to the floor area of the premises as specified on the business operation licence.   The department explained that "food court" means a place inside a shopping mall comprising licensed food factories and an adjoining seating area with tables and chairs or stools provided by the property management or owner of the mall for non-exclusive use by its visitors, which may include patrons of the licensed food factories.   The scheme requires an applicant to make a declaration, including indicating that the food business is still in operation, and if the business is not oper

1.5k questionable masks seized

Customs announced that it seized 1,510 coloured and patterned surgical masks with bacterial counts suspected of exceeding the maximum permitted limit.   The masks seized are worth about $4,500 and two people have been arrested so far.   Customs has test-purchased 16 samples of surgical masks with colours and patterns and conducted tests according to the hygienic standard for disposable sanitary products.   The total bacterial count of one sample exceeded the maximum permitted limit by 12.5 times, in contravention of the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance.   The sample was test-purchased from a chain cosmetics group’s retail shop in Jordan.   Immediate action was taken upon noting the test results, by which 1,000 masks were seized from nine retail shops of the group concerned in various districts yesterday.   An additional seizure of the same type of masks, 510 pieces, was made at three retail shops of the Hong Kong manufacturer in Mong Kok and Lok Fu upon further investigation.   A 47-year-old female manager of the chain cosmetics group and a 56-year-old male director of the manufacturer were arrested. They have been released on bail pending further investigation.   Customs has conducted citywide special operations since January 27 last year to conduct spot checks, test purchases and inspections in various districts regarding surgical masks available in the market.   It has so far test-purchased over 760 types of surgical masks, among which 743 samples have been tested for bacterial counts.   The public can call 2545 6182 or email crimereport@customs.gov.hk to report information relating to suspected unsafe consumer goods.
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